Saturday, April 09, 2005

Taking a back seat

My decision to homeschool began when I was a college freshman in 1981. I had finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life and I was ready. But first I needed a husband. God provided an awesome man a few years later who shared my vision for family life and homeschooling. Great the hard part's done. Now all I needed was a baby. Again, God was faithful. In 1989, Kristin was born. Let homeschooling begin!

But then the babies kept coming. This was what I wanted but it sure seemed alot harder than the books made it sound. Where were all the days running thru the woods catching frogs? It seemed like we were just running to the store to get more diapers. Mothering and home educating are physically, mentally, emotionally, and did I say physically exhausting. (Especially with the first 5 arriving in about 7 years!)

It seemed like I never got a break. If I wasn't teaching one how to read a book, I was trying to keep another one from eating it. It was all mom all the time.

But then, in a flash, I heard Kristin's confident voice say to me, "Sit back mom. Relax. Enjoy the ride!" What? Kristin driving? Me relax?!? Where did the time go? Did 16 years really go by already? It was then that I realized I was having a "back seat moment". My daughter has grown up and I was taking on a different role in her life.

Now millions of parents have experienced this moment. But the knowledge of that fact doesn't change my emotions one bit. My daughter is moving into adulthood. She is a young lady now. I must let go of the wheel and take a back seat. Ready to give advice but more as a trusted counselor and less as a teacher. I'm not ready. But she is and so I must steel my emotions and move forward with her. She is ready to stand alone with Christ and I must let her.

There were times when she was young that I worried. (Okay, lot's of times.) Would I do a good job? How will she turn out when this is all done?

I ask myself now, "Why did I stress out so much?" God knew what He was doing even if I didn't.

Older mothers used to tell me "Enjoy them while their young. They grow up so quickly." And they do. But the anxiety and stress were useful in a way. It propelled me to cry out to the only one who can give me the strength to see this journey through.

I am sure there will be more "back seat moments" in the days to come. But I now know that the joy of giving my children life is nothing compared to the joy of seeing them live a life in Christ. Homeschooling is a long and difficult journey. But if I am faithful...

The end will be better than the beginning.


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